Steven Johnson - Farsighted & How We Got to Now (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 1:00pm

Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not -- but you should, and New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson has. This adaptation of his adult book and popular PBS series How We Got To Now explores the fascinating and interconnected stories of innovations -- like clean drinking water and electricity -- that changed the way people live.

Innovation starts with a problem whose solution sets in motion all kinds of unexpected discoveries. That's why you can draw a line from pendulums to punching the clock at a factory, from ice blocks to summer movie blockbusters, from clean water to computer chips.

In the lively storytelling style that has made him a popular, bestselling author, Steven Johnson looks at how accidental genius, brilliant mistakes, and unintended consequences shape the way we live in the modern world. Johnson's "long zoom" approach connects history, geography, politics, and scientific advances with the deep curiousity of inventors or quirky interests of tinkerers to show how innovation truly comes about.

His fascinating account is organized into six topics: glass, cold, sound, clean, time, light. Johnson's fresh exploration of these simple, single-syllable word concepts creates an endlessly absorbing story that moves from lightning strikes in the prehistoric desert to the herculean effort to literally raise up the city of Chicago to laser labs straight out of a sci-fi movie.

In other words, it's the story of how we got to now!

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Big, life-altering decisions matter so much more than the decisions we make every day, and they're also the most difficult: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war. There's no one-size-fits-all approach for addressing these kinds of conundrums.

Steven Johnson's classic Where Good Ideas Come From inspired creative people all over the world with new ways of thinking about innovation. In Farsighted, he uncovers powerful tools for honing the important skill of complex decision-making. While you can't model a once-in-a-lifetime choice, you can model the deliberative tactics of expert decision-makers. These experts aren't just the master strategists running major companies or negotiating high-level diplomacy. They're the novelists who draw out the complexity of their characters' inner lives, the city officials who secure long-term water supplies, and the scientists who reckon with future challenges most of us haven't even imagined. The smartest decision-makers don't go with their guts. Their success relies on having a future-oriented approach and the ability to consider all their options in a creative, productive way.

Through compelling stories that reveal surprising insights, Johnson explains how we can most effectively approach the choices that can chart the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. Farsighted will help you imagine your possible futures and appreciate the subtle intelligence of the choices that shaped our broader social history.

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Steven Johnson is the popular, bestselling author of Wonderland and How We Got to Now, among other adult books.He was the host and co-creator of the PBS series How We Got to Now and has written for many blogs and publications, including TIME, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

 

Location: 
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780425287781
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - October 16th, 2018

Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not--but you should, and New York Times bestselling author Steven Johnson has.


Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594488214
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 4th, 2018

The hardest choices are also the most consequential. So why do we know so little about how to get them right?